Cycling Related Back Pain
Some bike fit considerations for those experiencing back pain caused by riding your bike.
Low back pain can be frustrating on the bike as it robs your power and can make it difficult to put much force into the pedals. It can also lead to shifting in the saddle which can cause issues with other parts of the body. Let's get you more comfortable on your bike.
As always, start by ensuring your position on the bike is neutral to begin with by checking it with the MyVeloFit software. If your position isn’t neutral to begin with, start by getting a neutral position. If your position was drastically off to begin with that could be what was leading to the pain.
Once you’ve confirmed your position and your low back pain is still persisting. The next step is to make changes specifically to ease the pressure on your low back. Two positional errors that are very difficult on the low back are too low of a seat, too long of a position (typically a combination of saddle too far back and handlebars too far forward) and too much handlebar drop (difference in height from saddle to handlebars). So, the recommended remedy would be to run slightly high in saddle height for your recommended range (knee extension), slightly low in terms of reach (shoulder angle to wrist and to elbow) as well as a slightly moreconservative back angle for your specified ranges.
Some people think back pain is unavoidable on the bike. This isn't the case. You should be able to complete a "typical ride" with no significant back pain. Epic days on the other hand are a different story.
Now assuming the bike is in the correct position for you, it is also important to consider your posture on the bike and how it can affect your overall comfort and efficiency. Please take a moment to review our cycling posture page which will help guide you towards the proper posture on your bike, as well as your specific strength and flexibility recommendations which are generated when you do our mobility screen
Athletes from around the world use MyVeloFit to improve their cycling position. Whether you are a veteran or new to the sport MyVeloFit can help you improve your position.
About the Author
Jesse Jarjour has been fitting bicycles to people for over a decade. He holds certifications from Retul, Trek Precision Fit, and has a level 2 certification from the International Bike Fitting Institute.
Jesse has fit over 3000 individuals of all sorts of athletic backgrounds. He is just as happy fitting National Champions as he is first time riders.
Jesse embraces technology in bike fitting. His Studio in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is one of the most technologically advanced fit studios in Canada. He uses the MyVeloFit technology alongside technology from industry leaders such as Gebiomized, Retul, and Dartfish. He uses MyVeloFit to to take a baseline of his clients and give them visual reports of how the measurements work while they are in the studio and as a "pre fit" tool to ensure the clients are in a relatively sound position before coming in.
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